Villanova University Digital Library

A great online library:

Villanova University’s Digital Library initiative assembles, presents, and preserves digital collections that support the teaching and research of the campus and the global community of scholars. We work with faculty, staff and regional partners to select and develop resources that enhance access for a wide range of disciplines and audiences.

bilingual news & links

Illegal immigrants decrease
The Center for Immigration Studies reports that the illegal immigrant population in the US is dropping. “Our best estimate is that the illegal immigrant population has declined by 11 percent through May of this year after hitting a peak in August 2007.” Am I the only person who thinks that that’s sad?

Barack Obama puts money into Hispanic vote
Obama has announced a $20 million commitment to “engage and mobile Hispanic Voters” (reports HispanicAd.com). Does anyone doubt that the Hispanic vote is important?

Houston news & links

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Watch the trailer
of the much-anticipated sixth movie. In this one, a prominent character dies. It’s the darkest of all the books, and the only one my niece didn’t finish. “It was boring,” she explains. I didn’t think so, but I’m no a pre-teen.

No Tax Weekend
ABC13 reports “The 10th annual Texas sales tax holiday will be Aug. 15-17 as families prepare to send children back to school.” Check out their story for more info on the types of products exempt from taxes.

Texas leads the nation in teen pregnancies
KHOU reports that Texas has more teen pregnancies than any other state. To top it off, teen pregnancies are on the rise for the first time in 15 years. Experts are baffled by the reason why the increase is happening.

TAKS is pass or not for 8th graders

Moment of truth for 8th-graders
Thousands won’t get into high school this year unless they pass the TAKS test

— Houston Chronicle2

Thousands of eighth-graders across Texas will sit this week for the biggest test of their young lives.

For the first time in the state, eighth-graders must pass standardized exams in math and language arts to be promoted to high school automatically. The students had two chances during the school year, but that was not enough for many who failed the exams on both attempts.

[snip]

Statewide, nearly one in five eighth-graders has yet to pass the math portion of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills.

That’s at least 55,918 students who face retention in eighth grade if they again fail the test, which is being given for the third and final time today.

Texas is one of the toughest states when it comes to tying grade promotion to testing. Students in grades 3, 5 and — now — 8 must pass the TAKS in some subjects to advance. High school students must pass four exams to graduate.

[snip]

Footnotes
2 = article may expire in a few weeks.

view the Cecil Thomson Collection

Something to add to your to do list —

Prolific photographer captured memorable Houston moments,” reported by the Houston Business Journal:

History is preserved in many ways. One of the most vivid is through the medium of photography. A photograph captures a moment in time that conveys a wealth of information if only we know how to “read” the image. A master of such photography is currently being spotlighted at the San Jacinto Museum of History in an exhibit entitled “Developing Houston: Photographic Treasures from the Cecil Thomson Collection.”

[snip]

The San Jacinto Museum of History has over 800 photographs taken by Thomson during the years of Houston’s rapid growth. They document our city from the time it became the largest metropolis in Texas in the late 1920s until it received accolades as the fastest-growing city in the country after World War II.

[snip]